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August 5, 1961

Chloroquine in Hepatitis

JAMA. 1961;177(5):344. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040310062017

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To the Editor:—  In the Questions and Answers section of The Journal (176:748 [May 27] 1961) Dr. Capps states that "it seems likely that there must be some invasion of the liver with ameba" because of the beneficial effect of chloroquine in hepatitis complicating infectious mononucleosis. Chloroquine and related agents such as hydroxychloroquine sulfate (Plaquenil) are being found useful in a number of situations, be it infectious mononucleosis, the collagen diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, or sarcoid. The beneficial effect is related to interaction of the drug with nucleoproteins, and—in ways not entirely clear—it may be helpful in the diverse conditions mentioned. This in no way makes it seem likely that there is an amebic hepatitis in infectious mononucleosis. Indeed, some degree of hepatitis is present in most cases of this illness.

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